Azar Nafisi


The author of Reading Lolita in Tehran shares some uncommonly good reading.



Azar NafisiThe lights of Lolita, The Great Gatsby, and Pride and Prejudice shone more brightly than ever in the pages of Reading Lolita in Tehran, Nafisi's bestselling 2003 memoir of teaching literature in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Her book Things I've Been Silent About, explores her relationship with her parents. Here she shares a trio of treasured volumes.


Books by Azar Nafisi








By Jane Austen


"Persuasion is about choice, and the moral and social dilemmas it brings in its tow. It is quietly magical, much like its heroine Anne Elliott. I love the undercurrent of sensuality created by the tension in the air every time Anne Elliott is in the same room with Captain Wentworth: a hint of unspoken longings and passionate urges, regret for the lost opportunities and hope for the future prospects."







The Age of Innocence

By Edith Wharton


"So refreshing to read and re-read a novel that proves the truth of Ezra Pound's claim about literature being news that stays news. We can read this book and not be ashamed of using words such as ambiguity, complexity, morality and beauty."








Uncommon Reader

By Alan Bennett


"In this politicized and polarized world, it is good to read the story of a queen who takes to reading books and abdicates her throne in order to write. What possibly more can we expect from such a wise queen?"


July 25: On this day in 1834 Samuel Taylor Coleridge died of heart disease at the age of sixty-one.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.


When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).